Sometimes you just need a few minutes of peace and quiet to talk on the phone or you are sitting in a restaurant and the food isn’t coming and your four-year-old is getting antsy. This is when it is time to pull out a busy bag and most of the time the problem is solved. Yes, cellphones and tablets are a great distraction too but a busy bag is a hands-on activity where kids can create, play, and also learn.
What is a busy bag?
A busy bag is a small activity in a Ziploc bag or a little box to keep your child entertained for 10-15 minutes. Most activities are handmade, somewhat educational, and always fun.
When my kids were toddlers we exchanged busy bags within our Mommy and Me group. It was so nice to have new activities on hand and not having to waste all the time and money to make them all by myself.
Over time our activity bags changed. Now that the kids are a little older, I bring a puzzle or small game. My son loves to play with plastic dinos in a restaurant, so I will have some in my purse.
Craft Stick Shapes and Patterns
I bought a large pack of 120 colored craft sticks for just under $3 but Dollar stores also carry them in smaller units for less money. For this activity you will need about 15-20 sticks in different colors.
Print out the task sheets. You can cut them into cards and laminate them for more durability. I left the sheets whole and stuck them into these sheet protectors, Dry-Erase folders. Either way works.
Have your child pick a shape or color combination from the worksheet and create a copy with craft sticks. This activity helps with hand-eye-coordination, fine-motor-skills, and color recognition You can talk about the different shapes, count the sticks, or make up your own patterns. It really is a lot of fun.
You can download the pages right here for free: